It is Erri de Luca, with his poem-manifesto Valore ("I give value to every life form, the snow, the strawberry, the fly”) who inspires Pep Ramis for his latest solo The Mountain, the Truth & the Paradise. A solo that arises from Ramis’ need, at fifty, to return to the stage alone to strengthen his artistic experience and re-examine a path stratified over the years with the Mal Pelo company he founded in 1989 together with María Muñoz in Celrà, Catalonia. It is here, since 2000, where their center for the arts and interdisciplinary exchanges L'animal a l’esquena (The animal on the back, from the title of their celebrated 2009 duet) exists in an area of 19 hectares of uncontaminated land.
The Mountain, the Truth & the Paradise is immersed in the present with a very personal gaze, in stops and starts, at times funny, at times tragic, on human beings and the surrounding world. Sixty minutes in which the abuse of the landscape, forgotten values, religion and its clichés emerge with a punch. Ramis' body chisels air and space, his warm voice declaiming texts which swing between intimidation and prayer- he sets aside witticisms.
Peppered with literary and biblical references, The Mountain, the Truth & the Paradise is dominated by the element of dust. It is dust that covers the stage like white snow, that becomes ash on the main performer’s head, smoke that intoxicates with movement, the steam of global warming. It almost seems that Ramis wants to embody in this performance a well-known line from T.S. Eliot’s Waste Land: "I will show you fear in a handful of dust". But about what fear is he talking? About death or more simply about the fear dictated by the discovery of having lost something truly important for something trivial?
Directors and staging Pep Ramis, María Muñoz
Performer Pep Ramis
Assistant director Jordi Casanovas
Additional artistic material Leo Castro, Blaï Mateu, Camille Decourtye (Baró d’Evel Cirk), Piero Steiner
Texts Erri de Luca, Mal Pelo
Composition and sound design Fanny Thollot
Other music Peteris Vasks, Cant de la Sibil·la
Lighting design August Viladomat – Punt de Fuga
Lighting technician and technical coordination Irene Ferrer Panicot
Sound technician Andreu Bramon
Video production Xavier Pérez
Wardrobe design and production CarmepuigdevalliplantéS
Set construction and consultation Adrià Miserachs, Pep Aymerich
Production Mamen Juan-Torres, Eduard Teixidor
Promotion and distribution Mal Pelo
A co-production by Mal Pelo, Théâtre de la Ville de Paris, France, Festival de Tardor de Catalunya Temporada Alta 2017, Agora de la Danse de Montréal, Canada
In collaboration with Théâtre de l’Archipel Perpinyà - France, Mercat de les Flors from Barcelona and L’animal a l’esquena – Creation Center